Fielding coach can't produce Jonty Rhodes overnight: Dhoni

Fielding coach can't produce Jonty Rhodes overnight: Dhoni

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni

The candid admission came after another listless display on the field by his players during their three-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the second ODI here yesterday.
 Dhoni said that a fielder of the caliber of former South African great Jonty Rhodes cannot be produced overnight and his team had players who were not brilliant in this department and their characters cannot be changed drastically, even by the best of fielding coaches.

India have roped in specialist fielding coach Mike Young who is connected with the Australian squad for this series as well as the Twenty20 internationals held earlier.
"You have to see the individuals also and then you have to decide on how much you can upgrade yourself.

It's not that if I am fielding or you are fielding and all of a sudden there comes the coach and you become Jonty Rhodes.
It's like a bowler. A spinner can't bowl fast bowling. The same way fielding is something that comes naturally.
Somebody is a good fielder or he's not," the India skipper said after the match here.

"We can improve a bit but overall you can't really change the character of an individual and from someone who does not field well can't make him a brilliant fielder.
"We have to keep that in mind. That's why we say we accept the fact we are not a brilliant fielding side. At the end of the day we also say we have the best batting line up and our bowlers are good," the skipper said.
Dhoni said that the fielding woes are highlighted only when India lose a match.

"That has been the case with us for some time now. It's just that when we win the game it does not get highlighted but when we lose it gets highlighted more.
"It's part and parcel of our game because this is the best batting side we have in India.

"Unfortunately this is not the best fielding side that we have got. We just need to accept the fact we are not the best fielders. Either we need to score may be 20 odd more runs or we need to bowl in a way we save 20 or 50 runs in our bowling.
"It's not that we are a brilliant fielding side," he said.
There were several mis-fields including one by Zaheer Khan who let the ball through his legs when Sri Lanka were surging towards victory.

Dhoni also defended his spinners Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja saying the speedsters need to bowl the first ten overs well.
"The conditions are not really helping fast bowlers. We don't want the spinners to bowl 7-8 overs with only a couple of fielders outside the ring and a few fielders in catching position. They are not able to bowl freely and put pressure on the batsmen.
"It's important for fast bowlers to bowl the first ten overs at least so that after that there are no catching fielders who are required in the 15-yard circle and there's one additional fielder the spinners can come into action. Early breakthroughs are required in these conditions," he said.
Dhoni, who came in to bat at number five and got a century, his second at this venue after the 124 in the T20 clash on December 9, said batting at different positions has helped him understand the different pressures experienced by the players batting regularly in those slots.

"If we have to score more runs I promote myself. I try to be there till the end so that in the last minute slog overs we can score more freely when one set batsman is there. By batting at different slots I have learnt what kind of pressure every individual has," he said.
"I have batted at different numbers. If the aggregate show I had scored good runs. Another help is the second (Batting) Power Play. Because of that nos. 4-6 batsmen get good chances to bat. That's why lower order batsmen’s strike rate is good," he said.

Dhoni said the effect of T20 games is not only on the 50-over games but also on Test cricket.
"If you see the one-day format, when it came you could see its reflection on Test cricket. Now with T20 you are seeing the reflection in one-day cricket. But at the same time if you see the last Test we played (against Sri Lanka at Mumbai), it was like T20 in Test cricket format.
"During the entire Test match the scoring rate was close to 5 runs an over, which is not exactly what you see and the Test match also got over on the fifth day," he said.
"It depends on the form of the batsmen. There are key players in every side who can play aggressively and are also consistent at the same time. That's also one of the reasons you see 280 more often in one-day format," he added.
Dhoni expressed hope that one of his key batsmen, dasher Yuvraj Singh, would be available for the next game at Cuttack on December 21 after missing yesterday's game here because of a bout of flu.
"I think he should be fit. But I don't know the scene right now. He did the warm-up and everything. He looks quite good right now and hopefully will play the next game," he said.
About the loss, Dhoni said the team did not get a good start and also failed to get early breakthroughs.
"We did not get good starts. We lost wickets at regular intervals. Only way to defend was to get early wickets. We got 3-4 wickets together later but it was too late by the time."

Dhoni praised youngsters Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina for their excellent supporting roles when he rallied the team around.
"Virat batted really well along with Raina. Raina has proved himself in international arena. He's playing quite consistently now. There was pressure when Virat went in to bat and there was a bit of assistance for the spinners also and their fast bowlers, because they had the upper hand, were bowling the slower bouncers and the reverse swing quite well," he said.
"His approach is really good and he batted really well. It's very good and exciting to see characters like those. Of course about Raina, not much is there to be said about him. He's playing with the team for a long time now. As a batsman he's been part of the side and he's more of an aggressor, likes to dominate once he sets himself up and goes for the sixes and fours.," he said.
Though he praised the performance of Lanka debutant off spinner Suraj Randiv, he pointed out that he had everything going for him yesterday and needed to be tested in different conditions.
"He's good. Every bowler who comes in to play international cricket is good and that's why he's playing international cricket."

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